Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What’s The Point of Prayer?

Submitted by Donnie O’Fallon
The longing for a deep and enriching prayer life, and the intimacy with that accompanies it, is a desire felt by all believers that I have met. But why do so few find it?  Desire and sincerity are not the issues. Even the disciples who saw with their eyes the blind healed, demons cast out, and the lame made to walk, had one request for the Master, “Lord teach us to pray.” Embedded in Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount is a clear pattern of what The Lord says prayer is supposed to be and do, in order to achieve the highest purpose that prayer is designed to fulfill.
“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matthew 6:5
1.    It’s not about getting our needs met
Please don’t misunderstand me. God does answer prayer and the Scripture is full of instances where God’s people prayed and He responded exactly as they had asked.
·      However, I don’t think that having our request granted is the primary goal of prayer. Prayer is not simply giving our wish list to God and saying please fill it.
·      Neither is prayer of alerting God as to what our needs are. He knows our needs better than we do and He needs no formal reminder of where we are or what we’re up against.
·      One of the most primary purposes of prayer is to spend time in conversation with our Heavenly Father. Prayer is not about answers, it’s about reward. When we understand this to be the purpose of prayer it will begin to transform the way we approach our Heavenly Father. What a marvelous privilege to be able to engage in intimate conversation with the Creator of the Universe. He chose to become our Father. He opens the windows of heaven and allows us to spend time in His awesome presence.
You and I can enjoy His reward every time we pray. Communing with Him is indeed, reward enough.  When that become of purpose there is no unanswered prayer.

2.    It’s not about unanswered prayer
Jesus describes three of the most common problems we often make a part of prayer habits. It would seem that these three are universal across the generations. They were certainly present when Jesus spoke these words.
·      The Phantom Prayer“When you pray…” The first reason prayer doesn’t seem to connect people with God is because people do not pray. In a recent national survey among the mainline Christian denomination, 25% said they never pray.
·      The Phony Prayer … Read Matthew 6:5 again. If you are praying for recognition, the approval of others, or for someone to let you know how wonderful you are, then you have your reward and that is the end.   But when you pray to your heavenly Father, not to seek the approval of others, the reward is much greater and lasting..
·      The Frivolous Prayer … Read Matthew 6:7 There are some historical references here but suffice it to say, God’s reward is reserved for those who seek His heart not His attention. All words but no heart.

 Prayer: Help us to spend time with to seek your presence and your heart for good and your purpose. AMEN!

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